President Trump threatens executive action if Democrats and Republicans fail to agree on second stimulus package


The White House (Flickr)

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks during a press conference Friday, Jan. 3, 2020,

Ivana Venema-Nunez, Reporter

On Monday, President Trump suggested the possibility of taking unilateral action if  Congress and the White House can’t come to an agreement regarding another emergency relief package for U.S. families and the economy in  response to financial distress caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to USA Today, negotiators indicated that they had made progress in regards to some of the differences between the two proposals. 

Some negotiators, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Congress’ top Democrats, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly met for several hours to discuss specific dollar amounts in several areas of the opposing bills.

“It was productive, we’re moving down the track,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters after the meeting in her Capitol Hill office. “But we still have our differences. We’re trying to have a clearer understanding of what the needs are.”

The executive actions the president suggested were to prohibit temporarily housing evictions that recently expired and executive action on a payroll tax cut.  There has reportedly been bipartisan opposition to the tax cut.

“A lot of people are going to be evicted but I’m going to stop it because I’ll do it myself if I have to,” Trump said at the White House. “I have a lot of powers with respect to executive orders and we’re looking at that very seriously right now.”

According to USA Today, Trump noted that the Democrats want to send more funds to state and local governments that have had their budgets decimated due to the pandemic.

“The problem is they want to do bailouts of their various Democrat-run states and cities,” Trump said. “We don’t think that’s fair.”

The two parties remain divided over the details of how much money and how much relief the second stimulus package should include. 

According to a New York Times article, Democrats are united behind the $3 trillion stimulus measure the House approved in May.  However, party leaders have acknowledged that at least 20 Senate Republicans are unlikely to support any additional spending over concerns about the level of spending and its effect on the national debt.  Subsequently, Republicans announced a $1 trillion proposal on Monday where a number of provisions, including the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit, would be reduced to $200 per week, something the democrat side has rejected.